Another 26/11 Type Attack Can Cause India-Pak War, Says NYT

“….As conditions in Pakistan, deteriorate by the day, making the risks of another Mumbai-style attack from Pakistan-based militants are impossible to ignore. A similar event could scuttle any hope of restarting peace talks between the
another 26/11 type attack can cause india pak war...
PTI November 25, 2009 15:37 IST

“….As conditions in Pakistan, deteriorate by the day, making the risks of another Mumbai-style attack from Pakistan-based militants are impossible to ignore. A similar event could scuttle any hope of restarting peace talks between the nuclear-armed rivals, and raise the specter of an India-Pakistan war”, reports New York Times.

NYT correspondents visited 26/11 spots in Mumbai to report that while the United States learnt lessons from 9/11, the India is yet to learn and create a setup like the Department of Homeland Security.

Mumbai, the report says, is a more cautious and safe place, but it remains vulnerable despite government pledges to overhaul security.

“The public outrage that many thought would usher in a political groundswell for a firmer government response has dissipated. India has done little of the painful public soul-searching that followed 9/11 in the United States, to which the Mumbai attacks are often compared”.

“While a high-profile bipartisan American commission published a best-selling report on the failures that led to 9/11 attacks, Indian lawmakers have kept secret a similar report about the Mumbai attacks”, the NYT report said.

“Almost all the political officials who resigned as a result of the attacks either are back in their old jobs or have been promoted. No senior members of the police force were fired or reprimanded”.

During 26/11, government officials were widely criticized for their bungled response. As vidfeo cameras rolled, the 10 Pakistani militants wreaked havoc for nearly three days, a humiliating and seemingly interminable display of India's impotence in the face of terrorism. Federal commandos who eventually wrested control from the attackers took more than nine hours to arrive at the scene from their base near New Delhi”, says the NYT report.

“This should be a defining moment for people to take defining decisions,” said Rana Kapoor, the managing director and chief executive of YES Bank. “I personally believe that 9/11 did that for America. But 26/11 has yet to get result-oriented changes,” he said, using the Indian date for the start of the Mumbai attacks on Nov. 26.

His brother-in-law, the chairman of YES Bank, Ashok Kapur, was killed at the Oberoi Hotel during the attacks. Mr. Kapoor said the memory of the attacks was “still mind-blowing” for him.

“At the city's central rail station, where gunmen mowed down dozens of people, police officers now carry their weapons at all times, and commandos in blue uniforms roam the platforms”, the NYT report says.

Police sub-inspector K. V. Bhosale, 30,  was on duty the night of the attacks. When the gunmen opened fire he was not even carrying his sidearm. “This was a war situation,” he said. “These people were killing men, women and children. Those who were running for their lives, they fired on them.”

He said he had received additional training since the attack, but feared he was not ready. “The next time they might come with chemical weapons, with biological weapons,” he said.

“At busy train stations, including the one that was attacked last year, metal detectors constantly buzz, yet people walk through them without being stopped for further scrutiny. While officials have installed new luggage-screening equipment there, many visitors are not asked to put their bags through it”, the NYT report said.

 
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